talks aimed at ending the war in syria begin in switzerland, the syrian opposition is in geneva, there's doubt about it joining in with the talks good to have your company, i'm david foster. also coming up, sexual offenses in the central african republic 200 refugees died off the greek coast this month. plus...
.. ..four miners trapped under ground for 36 days are rescued in china the long-awaited u.n. brokered talks on how possibly to end the syrian conflict have started. with one side present, the representatives of the syrian government - the main syrian opposition group says it had delieded to travel to geneva after being given assurances by the u.n., james bays pass been following costs in geneva. >> on this, the first day of the talks, only one of the main parties actually turned up here at the u.n. headquarters in geneva. the syrian ambassador to the united nations in new york, is heading his country's delegation, and came here to set out his case to the u.n. special envoy.
it was during their meeting that word came through from saudi arabia, that the main opposition block, which for days said it will not come to geneva, unless its demands are met, said that they would finally make the journey here to switzerland. when he spoke to reporters, stefan de mistura said he couldn't confirm the news until he got a written confirmation, from the high negotiating committee, but he had heard good signs. >> they raised important points of their concerns. they'd would like to see addressed from the government authorities regarding some type of improvement for the people in syria during the talks. for instance, really, the lifting of some matters.
>> reporter: members of the high negotiating committee have told al jazeera that they have been in touch with the u.n., u.s. and russia, who have given them reassurances that some of their concerns will be addressed, particularly with regard to the humanitarian situation, that's why they are coming to geneva, they are prepared to meet the special envoy, mr de mistura, but will wait for some time to make sure that everything they have been promised is in place before they take part in negotiations you were hearing that the main syrian opposition group, the high negotiations committee didn't turn up the first day of talks. it says that it will travel to switzerland, but it may not yet take part in any formal discussions. >> translation: we will go to geneva to be present, but be will not attend the talks at all unless the regime fulfils our mum an tarian demands, specialising stoppage to bombings and starvation in besieged areas. today we received guarantees
that the issues will be addressed in addition to political transition of power. we will not accept anything else unless we see the demands met on the ground. >> that syrian high negotiations committee is backed by saudi arabia. saudi arabia was given the job of pull g it all together. the saudi ambassador to the united nations told me that the opposition should take part in what is going on in geneva. >> we do not pretend to give them advice, it's their decision, they have to make the decisions. in my personal opinion, going and showing up and engaging positively is always more effective and more productive because we do not want the syrian regime to be able to pretend that the reason for any failure is because of absence of the opposition. the opposition should be courageous enough, and steadfast
enough to be there, and to present their requirements and claims and desires. more claims of child abuse from the u.n. peacekeepers have been revealed in central african republic. there are allegations against troops operating under the u.n. flag. gabriel elizonda reports from u.n. hours in new york. >> reporter: embroiled in scandal once again. six new allegations have surfaced of sexual misconduct against children by foreign peacekeeping troops in the central african republic. the incidents are alleged to have taken place in the capital bangui at a camp for displaced
people in 2014. four teenage girls, between 14 and 16, say they were sexually assaulted by european union peacekeepers. three said abusers were from a georgian contingent taking part in the mission. troubling allegations were made against french troops, the youngest victim, a 7-year-old girl said she was sexually abused in exchange for a bottle of water and a bag of cookies. >> these are, of course, serious accusations, and it's crucial that the cases are thoroughly and urgently investigated. we are heartened with the initial response received from the countries concerned. and the european union, showing they take the allegations seriously. >> we will continue to follow up on the cases, and any others which emerge as the u.n. team on the ground continues its investigations. >> french and e.u. forces arrive in the central african republic, with a mandate to protect people
in a country mired in sectarian violence. on friday, the u.n. revealed five new allegations against police. and their own peacekeepers. >> it's hard to imagine the outrage of people working for the united nations, and for causes of peace and security, and what they feel when the allegations come to light. particularly involving minors, which are so - so hard to understand. >> reporter: with the investigation continuing and a report by secretary-general ban ki-moon expected next month, officials are privately bracing for more allegations to come to light. for now, troops accused of criminal activity they were sent to protect
96 refugees and migrants have been rescued from an uninhabited greek island after the ding yi collided with rocks and sank. they were stranded. the group from syria and irish. many families of young children waded ashore and had to spend the night on the beach. they were rescued by a boat from the e.u. border agency and taken to the greek boarder. this has been the deadliest week in the agean sea since the refugees crisis began, with 80 dying in the last few days alone. >> as a point of reference, there weren't this many deaths on the agean side last year, in the the middle of september. we are hear until the end of january. 218 deaths on that route. and deaths of central mediterranean, picking up rapidly in the last few days.
>> german chancellor angela merkel has had a meeting to talk about it all. she has been pushing for the imbelowmentation of a $3 billion payment to turkey to deal with more refugees, or at least the payment or the idea has been blocked by italy now public opinion in germany markedly changed. she's rather less welcoming towards refugees, with the focus on how well they are able or unable to integrate into german society. we sent dominik kane to a language class to look at the changes. >> reporter: their struggle to get to germany is over. now the main task is to learn a new language. safely installed in a classroom, these syrians are glad to have let their country's troubles behind.
>> i came here to have a peaceful life. it feels good. i have security. i have the peace i'm longing for. it was hard to leave home and family. >> the refugee teacher is nisreen schmid. she came to germany 12 years ago from dubai, and said her experience made her want to help these people integrate. in recent months things are tougher. the attacks on women in cologne on new year's eve changed everything. >> there were a lot more people, german people that were excited at the thought of having refugees in the beginning to now. telling a german that more refugees will come in is like slapping them in the face. a recent opinion poll seems to bear this out. for the first time, a majority of germans believe they cannot cope. more than two-thirds expect time will rise as a result.
nearly three-quarters say tough laws need to be in place for dealing with asylum seekers. that is of concern for social workers. he gives advice to refugees and migrants in the cresburg area of berlin. he believes one problem is that though most of the recent arrivals are looking to integrate into society. others want to prey on it. >> translation: there are people that want to live here and enrich our society, and we have people that are hostile through their actions. it's not only that money plays a role, but they are hostile and dishonest. >> reporter: mercosur's view on refugee policy has been "we can do it." several senior members of her own party are openly disagreeing and demanding radical changes. whether they get them may depend on public opinion, and the first key test of that comes in six weeks time, when three states
hold parliamentary elections there has been a setback for the refugee children wanting to be re united with families in the u.k., from the french port city of calais. a british judge ruled refugee children should apply for asylum in france before transferring the claim to britain. last week the same judge ruled last week the same judge ruled three children and a disabled man should be moved to the u.k. for their safety. it was hoped by some that the initial ruling would set a precedent. the organization acting for children said the recent decision will slow down any more cases. >> we believe there's a few young people that have the same criteria as the ones given access, to appeal in the same way. we'll continue to do that with a handful of children that this
finally agreed to attend talks already under way in geneva, aimed at ending the conflict in syria. united nations promised a full investigation following claims of sex abuse by european soldiers in the central afghan republic. a judge ruled refugee children should apply for asylum in that country four chinese miners have been hauled to safety after being trapped 200m under ground for 36 days. their mine in eastern china collapsed so violently on christmas day it registered as an earthquake and left one dead. >> reporter: lifted above ground for the first time this year. this miner is lucky to be alive. brought to safety amid the
crowds and cameras. the doctors rush him to hospital. something akin to a hero's welcome for the man who was simply doing his job. and nearly died. he was not alone. three others were brought to safety. the four miners, the focus of so of much media attention in china. after 36 days trapped beneath the earth. they had been working underground recollects along with 25 others when the mine collapsed. 11 were rescued within hours, another died. the final 13 unaccounted for. >> are you all right? >> reporter: this was the breakthrough rescuers had this month, making contact and clearing enough space to send food, clothes and lamps through a small tunnel. getting them out. a harder job with the fear that tunnel could collapse or rocks fall and close it off at any moment.
as the relief showed on the faces of those rescued, for the authorities halfway between beijing and shanghai, this is another reminder of the dangerous nature and corruption that goes with mines like these. the course here is being investigated. but mine collapses are common, with safety regulations flouted. four officials here have been removed from their jobs. in a country with a pore safety record for labourers, and a heavily reliance on its mine, this is unlikely to be the last accident we will see bahrain - police fired tear gas at protesters on the island of cetra. the demonstrators were marching to the police station, ahead of
a five year anniversary of an uprising against the ruling family. no serious injuries were reported with the global price of oil falling, the relationship between u.s. and the middle east oil suppliers has been affected. we'll hear from tom ackerman on the effect of the recent volatility in yil production -- oil production. 70 years ago this was the king's first trip outside his country, forming an alliance with u.s. president franklin roosevelt. . >> movie reel: understanding each other's problems brings east and west together. >> i think we signed a bargain with the saudis, in exchange for stable supplies of oil and that continued until this day. >> reporter: when o.p.e.c. imposed an embargo triggered by the 1973 arab-israeli law, the u.s. launched project independence. >> by the end of this decade, americans will not have to rely
on any source of energy beyond our own. >> reporter: what happened instead, the u.s. increased reliance on foreign oil to a peak of 60%. in the past few years the explosion of american crude pruns cut it to -- production cut it to less than 30%, nearly half the imports coming from friendly neighbours - canada and mexico. the increased u.s. confidence and energy security is evidenced by three decisions - lifting a 40 year ban on exporting american oil, preparing to sell off a tenth of strategic petrol whyium -- petroleum preserves and with the stroke of a pen the end to the keystone pipeline project. a blow to canada. they'll be rebalanced from the middle east to asia and pacific.
>> i think the pivot to asia is not as important on the forefront of the agenda as we made it at the time. >> energy expert said the rise of i.s.i.l., and the arab springs failure will force the u.s. to concentrate on protecting old interests. >> i don't think we have good options in the middle east. now we have iran back that the equation. if they come out of their isolation with the lifting of sanctions. they have always been a player that went against our interests. if the u.s. enjoys a greater sense of security than it has in decades. the ties that bound it to the middle east are not soon likely to fray four people are still on a u.s. wildlife refuge taken over by an armed group this month. and the fbi released a video said to show how a member was shot dead by oregon police.
the anger of the man's family saying he was shot with his hands in the air. kristen saloomey reports. >> reporter: the fbi says it released a video to dispel this information about what lead to the death of the boy. a spokesman for the occupiers seen here at the wildlife refuge. two vehicles are seen stopping at the road block established by oregon state troopers. he is driving the white pick up. ammon bundy is a passenger in the cheep. if you look carefully, a person that left the truck can be seen in the lower right of the screen, with his hands in the air. 4 minutes past as the agents demanded they scenarioed. >> as the struck approaches the road block, there's a spike. finegan missed it as he attempted to drive around the road block. he nearly hit an fbi agent as he
manoeuvres to the left. the truck is stopped. >> that's when finny can gets out and reaches to his jacket where, according to his fbi, he was carrying a weapon. state police opened fire. we did everything we could to bring the situation to a peaceful resolution, as you'll see in the video and when you download it again. we waited a long time. we were able to get one individual out of the truck safely back and in custody. officials say they know the occupation of the wildlife refuge caused disruption and stress for residents and negotiators are working around the clock to get those out of there safely and quickly. four people remain on the refuge, three men and a woman who say they'll leave with assurances that they will not be arrested. >> we want to go home
peacefully, safely. >> speaking through the attorney, the leader called on them to leave. >> my message remains, turn yourselves in, do not use physic physical force. use the national platform that we have to continue to defend liberty. >> he vowed to continue the fight for local control of federal lands through the courts well, the word from the u.n. secretary-general is that the conflict riddled country of burundi is perilously close to the brink. he said this at the african union's peace and security council meeting in ethiopia. we are talking about an instead to send peacekeepers into the country, where there has been months of unrest. catherine soi has been monitoring the days event in ethiopia. >> the heads of state discussed terrorism in the continent,
violent armed groups holding large territories, and deadly attacks in count lis like burkina faso, and al-shabab poses grave danger. they deliberated on better ways of sharing count terrorism, intelligence, and also on the agenda with south sudan, and the transformation of a unity government. the process seems to be on shaky ground following the decision by the government to create 28 states up from 10. the armed opposition led by ria march ard said it was not in the spirit of the peace agreement. burundi is high on the agenda, and will be in the coming days. the heads of state will consider options to solve the crisis, and they are expected to discuss and decide on the deployment of the peacekeepers with or without the government's consent. if they endorse that approval
from the security council will be needed. people that follow burundi say that heads of state will be reduct and to do such a move. the main state push aggressively for a political dialogue between all wording groups - talks that seem to have stalled eventually in burundi there, and security forces have been accused of killing dozens of people last month of the later burying them in maths graves. amnesty international released these pictures. local people, according to amnesty told them about the police and other officials taking bodies to an undisclosed location. >> the president of brazil says she's declaring war on the mosquito which spreads the zika virus. there's no vaccine for it. dilma rousseff called on brazilians to fight mosquito infestation, you can see the
zika virus has been linked to brain defects to thousands of babies born in brazil proposed changes to china's wildlife laws are angering conservationists. if law, the new rule will allow captive greeting of wild animals for melbourne use. -- for commercial use. here is florence louie. >> reporter: once running free, now in captivity. the siberian tiger and the south china tiger used to roam china in larger numbers. dozens of these two subspecies are estimated to survive in the wild. for the first time in 26 years, china is revising laws on wildlife. conservationists say some of the proposed amendments are worrying. in particular, those allowing for captive breeding and other
purposes, hunding to occur. captive breeding is not at natural. they are going to damage the white population of the wight animals. captive animals cannot continue to a healthy gene pool. there's pressure to farm from the wild to supplement populations, in species which do not breed successfully in captivity. conservationist are concerned about wording in the draft law, commercial use of wildlife resources. the proposed law makes it a crime to consume rare and endangered species. a black market exists in china and worldwide. wild animal parts are used for traditional medicine, amulets or decoration. they'll no doubt look for loopholes in the new law. >> conservationists believe allowing the commercialisation of wildlife resources will
increase demand and worse. >> there are good points in the draft law, spelling out that animal's habitats are to be protected. on the hole it's vague and unhelpful and can leave some species more vulnerable than before. a final reminder of the top stories, syria's main opposition travel to gen, where talks aimed at ending the war is taking place. the negotiating committee has been absent but said it will go to switzerland. there has been claims of child abuse by peacekeeping soldiers.
some have been identified by alleged victims, and there's allegations against troops operating under the u.n. flag. >> these are, of course, extremely serious accusation, and it's crucial that the cases are urgently investigated. we are heartened at the initial response that we received from the countries concerned and the european union showing that they take the terrible allegations seriously. we will continue to closely follow up on the cases, and any others which emerge as the u.n. team on the ground continues its investigations more than 90 refugees and migrants have been rescued from a greek island after a dingy collided with rocks and sankment the stranded group made itted from syria and iraq, waded assure and spent the night on a beach. there has been a set back for refugee children wanting to be reunited with families